MILITARY reservists will be thrown a financial lifeline when they return to their day jobs, the Chancellor has said.
Rishi Sunak has unveiled plans for servicemen and women to be eligible for government grants and furlough schemes.
Army, navy and airforce personnel will now be able to take advantage of the job retention scheme after completing their period of active duty.
The cut-off point for new furlough applications by employers is next month but this will be waived for any reservists who have been on active service.
The government is paying 80 per cent of salaries, capped at £2,500 a month, since furloughing started – but government support will be tapered off before ending in October.
Meanwhile, self-employed military part-timers who haven’t been able to access the scheme as a result of a deployment in 2018-19 will be able to claim for two grants.
Freelancers have so far been allowed to claim for instalments originally worth 80 per cent of average monthly trading profits – up to £2,500 a month – but this will be cut to 70 per cent from August in the second round.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP said: “Reservists embody the best of our nation – in our hours of need, they rise up to the challenge and leave their everyday lives behind to serve our people.
“It is only right that we do everything we can to support them when they return to civilian life during these challenging times.”
A million employers across the country have been helped to furlough almost nine million jobs. The self-employed scheme has seen a total of £7.5 billion paid out to 2.6 million freelancers. The updated guidance will be published this week.
Speaking to HOAR, Mr Sunak said he was working on plans to support people at risk of losing their jobs as a result of the pandemic.
He said: “I’m spending a lot of time figuring out what is the best way for me to provide support to those people, to help them get back into work as quickly as possible.
“And it’s why we put in place things like the furlough scheme which I’m confident has protected millions of people’s jobs through this crisis and that was very important for me to do.
“There was an unprecedented intervention in scale, we’ve never done anything like it in this country but because of the circumstances, because of the importance that I place on the dignity of work and valuing everyone’s contribution and wanting to protect that, that’s why we did that.
“I know it will have made an enormous difference but, notwithstanding that, there will still be people who have hardship ahead of them and that’s why we’re going to do everything we can to support them.”